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Friday, 30 July 2010

Richie Havens - The End Of The Beginning (1978)

I knew Richie Havens as a singer songwriter of the Woodstock generation, i'd listened to his early albums (Mixed Bag in particular) as they steadily sold in the shop I worked in as a Saturday help in my early teens but never thought he was for me.  My mind changed when I heard his version of the Sonny Boy Williamson song "Eyesight To The Blind" which features on the "Orchestral Tommy" project.  His laidback but very present vocal is something else.  This came along soon afterwards.  It features a number of covers from around that time.  The song choice is surprisingly mainstream with the Doobie's "Long Train Running"; Van Morrison's "Wild Night"; 10cc "I'm Not In Love" (the single and a much ignored great cover) and, Steely Dan's "Do It Again". It also continues his affair with the Dylan songbook with "If Not For You".  The band included Booker T, Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn of the MGs together with sidemen Willie Weeks and Jeff Baxter. The supporting tour was his first outing with an electric band.

 This has recently been released on limited edition (4,000 worlwide) CD together with "Mirage" his second album for A&M.  It's not as good but the CD set is worth it for this.
A&M -  SP- 4598 (US Copy)
CD: Dreaming As One: The A&M Years - B0002495

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